Tel Aviv University (TAU) announced on Sunday that it has established Israel's first multidisciplinary center for the study of autoimmune diseases.
The Colton Center to collaborate with the country’s leading medical centers and health services as well as selected scientists from other academic institutions.
Its goal is to enable big data analytics of medical information and biological samples from patients with autoimmune diseases and promote understanding of the causes of morbidity and recurrent flareups and possible early diagnostics and treatments, according to the university’s statement.
“The intent of the center would be to grant research funding to multidisciplinary groups of scientists including: computer science, engineering, biology, statistics, mathematics, psychology, and more. The different research programs will be managed based on agreed upon milestones with the ability to reach substantial sums upon success,” it added.
Autoimmune diseases cover over 100 diseases, in which the immune system, instead of pathogens such as viruses and bacteria, attack the body's healthy tissues. Relatively familiar examples of these diseases include lupus, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, and Crohn’s disease.
The Colton Center was funded by TAU Governors Judith and Stewart Colton, who donated $10 million to the cause. It is the fourth research center founded by the Colton family to address autoimmune diseases, joining three centers already operating in the U.S. - at Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, and NYU.
“Even though autoimmune diseases have been known to science since the beginning of the 20th century, we still don’t have adequate tools for prevention, treatment, or prediction of morbidity and recurrent flareups,” Stewart Colton said, adding that the new center will conduct joint workshops and conferences with the three other Colton Centers.
Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.